Inside the Studio

Michael Cutlip

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

In the past few years, I have discovered my obsession with PAPER.  The use of paper has opened up so many doors for me.  It has taught me to let go of it all and simply enjoy the process, the act of freedom, exploration, and the knowledge to simply listen to the work.  Each piece has its own voice, and if we listen, then true, uninhibited art will happen.

My current  body of work has a definite urban feel to it…something that has influenced me since the beginning days. I have always appreciated graffiti in its abstract form, and the forces of nature that contribute to this sort of urban decay. I draw from that…and in my older age, learning the lesson that less is truly more.  Across the board, I have taken a more minimalist approach towards my life.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 

I’ll always remember something that my old professor used to tell me, upon walking out the door of my studio. He would always say “keep your brushes wet young man”.  In other words, you have to show up to work everyday if you want that magic to happen.

I have always maintained a pretty strong work ethic over the years…and it has everything to do with that statement.  You just really have to put in your time. Art is neither forced nor controlled and you really never know when it will surface, so you have to be there to catch it when it does decide to appear…

Prefer to work with music or in silence? 

Always music.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be? 

A Motherwell…along with the massive sized wall that would be required to hang such a work!

Who are your favorite writers?

I’ve been reading a lot of Haruki Murakami lately.